European stocks hold their ground as attention turns to US growth. Amazon smashes expectations with first $2bn quarter, following Facebook disappointment .


Stock Market News Today:


The latest earnings reports for members of the Faang group of tech giants — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google — are making what has been a winning trade for investors look more complex. Amazon blew past Wall Street forecasts on Thursday as its diversification into higher-margin cloud computing and the dominance of its online retail business produced the first $2bn quarterly profit in its history.

The second-quarter results were a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy week for the technology sector, coming a day after Facebook stunned investors with a prediction of slowing growth, sending its shares down nearly 20 per cent and wiping more than $120bn from its market capitalisation.

Amazon, which only crossed the $1bn mark for quarterly profit at the end of last year, reported $2.5bn in net income in the quarter ending in June. The company’s shares surged 4 per cent in after-hours trading despite revenue missing analysts’ expectations.

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Stock markets are rising in Europe, amid continuing optimism after the agreement between the EU and US to suspend new tariffs as trade talks continue, and on supportive earnings news.

Shares in BT, Reckitt Benckiser and BBVA are all higher after the publication of their latest results, with the Europe-wide Stoxx 600 up 0.4 per cent overall.

The improving mood faces a test from US growth data for the second quarter, which is expected to show growth of 4.1 per cent, and is due at 1.30pm. Before its release, Wall Street futures expect the S&P 500 to tick up 0.1 per cent.

“We expect that [US] GDP growth picked up strongly in Q2 after a lacklustre start to the year, fuelled by a rebound in consumer spending and a surprise narrowing of the trade balance.

“We forecast headline growth of 4.4%. This is likely to mark a peak in growth momentum, and we expect some moderation in the quarters ahead.”

Meanwhile, technology stocks remain in focus following Facebook’s record fall after it warned of slowing user and sales growth.



Europe’s technology sector consists mainly of hardware makers rather than social media networks or content providers, but nonetheless its shares are under pressure. The Stoxx index tracking the sector is flat, leaving it out of the wider upbeat trend.


Oil prices are drifting lower after climbing in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s move earlier in the week to suspend oil shipments through the Red Sea following an attack from Yemeni Houthi rebels on two of its giant crude carriers.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, is down 0.1 per cent at $74.47.

Gold is up 0.2 per cent to $1,224.12 per ounce.

Categories: News


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